How do I open an anonymous bank account? (with photos)

A login interface for an anonymous bank account.

Whether it’s even possible to have an anonymous bank account depends on the definition of anonymous. It is possible to have private accounts where the details are kept confidential, although they may be revealed under legally compelling requests. In the United States, it is not possible to have a literally anonymous account, as the law requires financial institutions to know the identity of account holders.

Under current banking regulations, it is difficult to open a savings account anonymously.

In the past, a truly anonymous bank account was available in some countries, including Switzerland and Austria. They could be opened without any identification and the bearer simply received a booklet and a code word. They were required for all transactions, meaning the account could only be accessed in person.

Because of the setup, local banking laws dictated that anyone who had possession of the booklet and knew the codeword was considered a legal account holder. This naturally increased the security risks associated with these accounts. In particular, this meant that if an account holder died and did not leave their codeword details, heirs could not access the funds in the account.

In the past, a truly anonymous bank account was available in some countries, including Austria.

Keeping an anonymous bank account is difficult, if not impossible, in the 21st century. In large part, this is a result of the Financial Action Task Force, an intergovernmental body that tries to combat money laundering. The force established a generalized legal principle that banks must know the identity of account holders.

See also  What is a Banco Giro credit? (with photos)

The United States has had this legal requirement since the passage of the Bank Secrecy Act in 1970. The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 requires banks to verify the identity of account holders against a list of persons known or suspected to be involved or who have links to , terrorist activities.

The closest thing to an anonymous bank account today involves setting up an offshore company. That company can then open a bank account in the foreign country, adding an extra layer of secrecy between the account and the true holder. This can be an extremely expensive method and may be limited by the local laws of the country where the company and account are based.

There are several organizations, mostly operating online, that claim to be able to offer a truly anonymous bank account. They are often risky at best and a sham at worst. The most common method is for the organization to open a bank account and then provide the customer with code numbers and passwords to access it online. This is extremely dangerous as it means that while the customer has access, they are not the legal account holder. This means that, at any time, the organization can legitimately withdraw all money from the account and close it.

Leave a Comment